Apollo 12

Apollo 12 www.nasa.gov
Apollo 12 Mission  www.nasa.gov

The Apollo 12 was the second manned spacecraft to land on the moon.  This 363-foot vehicle was launched on November 14, 1969, from the Kennedy Space Center.  Their mission was to survey the area and collect samples, conduct experiments, further develop the capability to work in the lunar environment, and obtain photographs.  There have only been twelve people that have actually walked on the moon.

NASA is currently looking for the next generation of astronauts to possibly step on Mars in the near future. They have received over 6,000 applications for only 18 positions.  The candidates not only have great educational credentials and professional expertise but also have to be physically fit and mentally sound.

When these missions occur, it takes many hours of preparation including spending time in their space suits immersed in one of the largest indoor pools that is located at NASA.  Patience is also very important because there can be delays or other issues that arise.  Once in space, these astronauts have to use extreme caution to execute even minor activities.  The Mars mission may take up to two years to complete so these individuals also have to work well with their colleagues in very tight quarters.

Regardless if you are heading to Mars or have another goal you are trying to achieve, it takes motivation and determination to complete it.  Many companies do not make as much of an effort to really motivate their employees and then wonder why their performance is sub-par.  Supervisors are expected to meet quotas and deadlines but are not given the tools to encourage their employees to reach their full potential.  Many leadership training programs are only for executive level managers, but that information should be available for more junior managers who are managing those that are on the front line with customers i.e. customer service, sales, etc.

Companies that have earned wonderful reputations have made a real effort to educate their employees at all levels on how to deal with customers and their colleagues.  They recognize that time is of the essence but to build a sustainable relationship takes trial and error, and more importantly, patience.  It is more about building trust and respect versus the bottom line.  Just like with a mission to the moon or Mars, mistakes and errors occur so it is important for bosses to continue to motivate their employees.

Money is not the only motivator.  Employees want to be challenged and be able to take risks.  They want projects that stretch their minds and are learning experiences.  They do want to be recognized but that can come in many different forms besides money.  These include Employee of the Month acknowledgement, lunch with executives, a gold star (or moon!), and even a simple thank you and/or job well done.  Regardless of the way management acknowledges an employee’s success, it should be consistent with all employees and sincere.  The final result will be “astronomical” for the individual, boss, and the organization overall.